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Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) 2019

Regimes of Urban Transformation in Tehran : The Politics of Planning Urban Development in the 20th Century Iran

Mashayekhi, A.

Titre : Regimes of Urban Transformation in Tehran : The Politics of Planning Urban Development in the 20th Century Iran

Auteur : Mashayekhi, A.

Université de soutenance : Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Grade : Doctorat 2019

Résumé partiel
This thesis contributes to a detailed understanding of the urbanisation of Tehran, and offers a new perspective on its complexities and specificities. This perspective builds on the work of urban scholars who have critically questioned the Eurocentric understanding of cities and have moved beyond an artificial hierarchy of cities that pushes for ‘backward/underdeveloped’ cities to become like ‘advanced/developed’ cities, even if that is inappropriate to their specific material and cultural condition. The thesis considers the urbanisation of Tehran over the course of the whole 20th century and argues that urban change and development process of Tehran is a multi-scalar process and despite its particularities and differences, have been connected to wider global development processes. In doing so this research examines the historic trajectory of Tehran’s urbanisation and development through the lens of international development discourse (such as state-led industrialisation or long-term economic development planning and privatisation) and shows how the interconnection between Iranian city making practices and international development ideas have shaped Tehran urban spaces and social structure. Throughout the last century, many international perspectives on Iran diagnosed the country and its capital city as being ‘backward’, ‘Third World’, and ‘undeveloped’. Thus, the pressure to ‘catch up’ with developed and economically powerful nations has been crucial in the ways in which Iranian government regimes, political elites, experts, and citizens have dealt with the ‘problem of underdevelopment’. In this thesis, the discourse of development refers not only to how development is defined or described, but also to how it is measured and practiced. Since the beginning of the 20th century, shifts in the global political economy have caused new discourses, institutions, and actors of development to emerge – bringing important implications for the formulation of national development polices and urban planning practices in cities across the Global South, including Tehran. Therefore, this study seeks to reveal how the interplay between the global discourse on development and Iran’s development policies has resulted in particular urban plans and development projects for Tehran, whose outcomes have had long lasting effects on trajectories of urbanisation and urban transformation in Iran. This research provides a historic perspective which first interrogates the relationship between urbanisation and development discourses and problematizes their perceived positive relationship in studies of cities in the Global South

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Page publiée le 8 avril 2021